New Delhi: The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, as it is being called, took approximately five years to complete and cost $180 million.
FAST became operational in September 2016, years after it was proposed.
Sadly, the mastermind behind the genius 'device' that will give a mighty push to the hunt for extraterrestrial life – Chinese scientist Nan Rendong – passed away today at 72 years after battling lung cancer.
Xinhua news agency, citing the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said Nan passed away on Friday.
As the founding father of FAST, Nan had been in charge of the project since 1994, and most of the project's core members were Nan's students.
Nan was diagnosed with lung cancer before FAST became operational, and he continued his duties despite his illness. His colleagues said that Nan's spirit reflected his pet phrase – "Refuse to be average."
FAST is located in southwest China's Guizhou Province. It was independently developed by China and will be helpful in investigating the universe.
(With PTI inputs)